Building Blocks (dressed as rodents…)

Through the years, New Your City has provided a treasure chest of ideas and words for my writing; narrative and poetry. One trip provided a wealth of visual action that, in addition to the serious poem View from the Train, gave the fictional character Dave something to claim as his own (proving once again truth can sound stranger than fiction):
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“I spent the late afternoon and evening walking the streets of mid-town. The sights and sounds of the City are so dramatically different from the areas I work and live in. Thus, for me New York has a refreshingly unique personality. It’s as if each of the defined sections, such as the Village or ChinaTown, is but a tablecloth upon which a magnificent dinner is placed. It is as if each area absorbs everything that is placed within; not stripping away the identity of these individual entities, but weaving them into the tapestry spread out before you.”

“All is odd in New York, thus no one entity stands out for very long. The rounding of a corner can bring to light a micro dot of total misplacement, a relic of the past wedged between ultra-modern shops and restaurants of ‘progress.’ Or it can raise the curtain on a montage of human existence: two Orthodox Jews – with their large black brimmed hats and black coats in contrast to the noonday heat – walking past the tourist bedecked steps of St. Patrick’s Cathedral turn their heads to look at two blond-haired Scandinavian girls – dressed as rodents for an advertising promotion – yelling at a Pakistani taxi driver who, claiming not to understand their version of English, is explaining – high-pitched, at a feverish pace – to a policeman why he ran over their Mouse Cart, while four Chinese tourists – wearing I love New York t-shirts and carrying bags from an East European deli – are taking pictures of the hundreds of Wisconsin cheese pamphlets now littering the sidewalk. Nothing is odd when everything is unique; this is New York City.”
(Through a Stranger’s Eyes, © Steven S. Walsky, 2005.)

Time molds vivid memories from one’s past into the building blocks of one’s writing…Think about your ‘building blocks’; we can not write without them.

The Thirty-Eight Year Day (Repost)

I had written the following as the preface for my fictional crime novel The Pub on Trinity Street, and then decided to skip a preface and incorporate the material directly into chapter one. However, the former preface seems to be a short story unto itself. Thus we have:
The Thirty-Eight Year Day
January 30th, in the Year of Our Lord One Thousand Nine Hundred and Seventy-Two, was a Sunday. The Pub on Trinity Street, in the southern port city of Baltimore, Maryland, was open for business; playing host to the normal Sunday in winter gathering. A few dart players in the back; one or two alcoholics sequestered at the far end of the downstairs bar, addressing the numb from the cold with the numbing of the soul; and five regulars seated at the middle of the downstairs bar, caring less about the drinks, than someone to talk to. The Milwaukee Bucks would top the Baltimore Bullets 116 to 112; which meant the after game crowd would be arguing the outcome at the smaller upstairs bar over pints and the smack-clang of the shuffleboard. Don McLean’s song American Pie was in its third week as Billboard magazine’s Hit 100 Number One. And the Sunday paper said Steve McQueen was dating Ali MacGraw.

At approximately four o’clock Greenwich Mean Time, 3,278.56 miles across the Atlantic from The Pub on Trinity Street, in a place referred to in the press as Londonderry, Northern Ireland, shots were fired, ending the quiet. Within 40 minutes, thirteen humans would be dead and fourteen would be injured; one to die later. The world would wait thirty-two years to hear that none of those killed were armed. However the Lord Widgery inquiry is future tense; as is the apology for the killings made by British Prime Minister David Cameron on June 15, 2010, “What happened should never have happened.”

The news of Bloody Sunday reached The Pub on Trinity Street one hour and fifteen minutes later. The lights would stay on long after Sam yelled ‘last call’; with a handful of patrons now lost in thought, silently contemplating their beers.

Just no one could have known how long before the glow from those lights would go out in the lives of some of the contemplators. Long after The Pub on Trinity Street shuttered its windows for the last time by burning to the ground, and then eventually becoming a mere speck of dust in the memory of those Sunday sports fans who had argued the outcome of the Milwaukee Bucks-Baltimore Bullets game at the upstairs bar on January 30th in the Year of Our Lord One Thousand Nine Hundred and Seventy-Two.
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The Thirty-Eight Year Day and The Pub on Trinity Street are works of fiction; there was no establishment in Baltimore, Maryland called The Pub on Trinity Street.

The Thirty-Eight Year Day and The Pub on Trinity Street are copyrighted Steven S. Walsky, all rights reserved. Parts of these manuscripts have been adopted from Through a Strangers Eyes, copyright 2005 Steven S. Walsky.

Santa Leaves the Farm (Flash Fiction repost)

Few people know that Santa was a dairy farmer prior to his Christmas gift fame. Although he was very successful, there were snags to Santa’s happy existence. For example, on the farm his cows’ derrieres contributed to the dairy air. Also, being a wonderful guy meant that his overly pampered cows would sometimes give spoiled milk. Nevertheless, Santa’s dairy herd became a cash cow; and Santa used the money to go into the toy business.

Santa’s first task was to interview prospective aides to aid him in making the toys; he used some ice cold ade to ease the interview process. Unfortunately, Santa’s love for cookies would sometimes keep him in the kitchen far too long and Santa was lucky to make it to the interview room in the Nick of time. Having sold Christmas trees as a young Santa, he knew how to spruce himself up for the interviews.

Santa had to think about what kind of toys to make. Santa was an early riser because he knew that those who get up at sunrise have many ideas dawn on them. An elf broached the subject of making toy brooches. The final decision arrived when Santa received a letter from the president of a local bank, who wrote that Santa’s precedence should be to follow toy industry precedents. That’s why we find such a wide variety of toys in Santa’s workshop.

With his workforce at the ready, Santa wanted to have a catchy advertising pitch; because a good ad adds to the business. One day, while crossing the river on a ferry, Santa thought about using Christmas fairies. Another time he thought about sheep after he had yelled, “Hay you ewes stop eating the yew!” He saved the video he took with his iPhone and would post it later on Ewe Tube.

So, this Christmas try to remember that Santa could have stayed in the dairy business. If he had, all those gift wrappers would not be presently employed.
Santa Leaves the Farm, Steven S. Walsky, December 2015.)

Merry Christmas!